Tag Archive | free

Tired of Giving Your Books Away for Free? Then Stop.

freeIndie Authors: Are you struggling with how to get your books in front of readers? Do you feel like you’ve done everything you possibly can and it still is not enough? Do you resort to giving your hard earned work, after paying for edits, covers, trailers, away for FREE? Or, just 99 cents in the hope someone will pick it up? Does that dream of writing for a living just seem to drift away in a sea of 33 cent royalties?

Maybe it’s time we started asking for the same respect as the authors in the Big Six. We are doing the same work, and even more. We are learning the craft of social media, we are the ones blogging, tweeting, posting and trying every single promotion under the sun. But maybe it’s time we sat back and said, “You know what? My book is worth more than free.”

My good friend Denise Vitola has a blog this week that resonated with me and she’s allowed me to post some of her content here and offer her link to folks that would like to read more.

http://thomas-talks-to-me.com/blog/blog.html – Denise’s Blog (you should follow her – she’s also a phenomenal editor and edited six of my books)

Denise has a few rules in the publishing industry. “The most important rule? Act like the professionals you are. Write a great book. Have it professionally edited. Hire an artist to create a cover that will attract attention. Market your books like your pants are on fire.

The second most important rule? Charge what your books are worth—what your time and talent is worth. Do not listen to the bleating of Old World propagandists, for they open their mouths to spit out bull twinkies. They want to see you fail. They want to see our Indie Publishing Industry go belly up.”

She’s got a point. Another one is this:

“Personally, I buy Indie books all the time and most of those e-books are in the $6.99 to $8.99 range. I feel like I’m getting a good book when I pay more for it, and I’ll bet I’m not alone. Mr. Joe Reading Public looks at the value of things the same way I do. Sometimes, cheap is not better. Sometimes, cheap is just cheap.”

While I’m not going to go and bring all my books up to $6.99, I did move my full length novel THE WORLD OF KAROV from $0.99 to $2.99. It’s Book #1 in a series and it has 27 reviews. That’s nothing to sneeze at. I paid hundreds of dollars editing this baby, money to make a professional cover and a book trailer, too. It’s really enjoyable if you like dark fantasy tales and is definitely worth more than $0.99. And the fact is, at 99 cents it wasn’t even selling, so what’s the point? I’ll use that price point as a special promotion, rather than keep it there permanently. The only thing I will ever do for a freebie any longer is a short story. That will give my fans the chance to read something of mine and get a taste of my writing. As a result, I’m going to put up more short stories (professionally edited, of course) on Amazon and only use those as my freebies.

I’d love to know what other indies think? I have read all of your efforts and celebrated with you when your freebies generated thousands of “sales.” I won’t tell you the pain I actually had for you, knowing that had you been able to get the value of your worth, you could have actually made some money on this — money that you earned for all your hard work. Honestly, because of what we’ve all done I’ve had many people tell me “Oh, you wrote a new book? Tell me when it’s free and I’ll “buy” it.” Did you hear what I just said? Tell me when “it’s free” and they’ll consider reading it. That’s pretty horrifying and I know I’m not the only one who has heard that. We need to change reader’s perceptions. It starts with us.

Trust me, the Big Six aren’t giving anything away for free.

So I leave you with this… your work is valuable… but first you have to believe in it yourself before anyone else will.

Food for thought.

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FREE 1/26 and 1/27 A YA Sci-Fi Short Story about Young Love – THE SUN AND THE STAR

The sun coverI love short stories. Sometimes I just don’t have time to read an entire novel by an author, but I do have time to read a smaller tale. On 1/26 and 1/27 I’m offering my YA Sci-Fi love story THE SUN AND THE STAR, for free. It will offer readers a flavor of how I write and hopefully a nice little escape for a while. It is FREE Here: http://amzn.to/1fljMvU

Here’s a sample chapter to “wet your whistle:”

THE SUN AND THE STAR

By Elyse Salpeter

1913, in a Kansas field

An October dusk settled over the hundreds of rows of withered corn stalks standing like sentries in the Kansas field. The full moon was rising and a brisk wind whistled through the dry shoots, creating a noise like paper crinkling, and drowning out the sounds of the young girl crying.

No one was working in the field that day. It was Sunday, the one day I gave my farmhands off. My own homestead was but a few trots down the road on the only hill this side of Kansas, but everyone in any direction could see we were home that evening from the smoke swirling from the chimney. I always wondered what the girl did that long cold night while my family and I slept. Wondered why she didn’t come and seek our help.

We wouldn’t find her until late the next afternoon when the workers had returned to pull the stalks and ready the field for winter. I remember exactly where I was when they found her.

“Boss, help!” The farmhand ran out from one of the rows frantically, carelessly stomping through the dead plants. If it were summer, I would have docked his pay for doing something so flagrant, but I knew this man. He was a good worker and was a family man. It must be bad.

I rode up on my horse. “Langston, what’s the problem?”

He leaned over, his hands on his knees, wheezing and trying to catch his breath.

I stood up on the stirrups, able to peer over the stalks and saw a group of my men converging in an area about a quarter mile down the rows. Great, it was probably a cow from the McKensey farm next door that had wandered over and died in my field. It had happened before.

Langston stood up, huffing. “Boss, we found a little girl.”

Dread ran through me. “Is she dead?”

He shook his head. “No, she isn’t, but she’s sick. We gotta get help.”

I yelled at my foreman to run to my house and call for my wife and then jumped off the horse and raced with Langston through the rows toward the child. Thoughts competed in my head. Why would a little girl be here? Did someone hurt her? Did an animal drag her here? Images of my own three children coursed through my brain and made me run faster, but when I pulled into the clearing the men had created, everything I expected was shattered.

This wasn’t a toddler. It was a young girl of about fifteen, curled into a ball and lying in the dirt in the middle of my cornfield. Strangely twisted and charred hunks of metal smoked in the field around her, creating a clearing. The air reeked of scorched corn and burnt oil, and as I stared at the boulder sized lumps glowing red-hot in places, they reminded me of the color of the branding irons we used on the bulls in stock.

The men squirmed nervously. “Extraterrestre,” they mumbled. You could practically smell their fear.

“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s just a child, nothing more,” I admonished, trying to convince myself as well.

I leaned down next to the girl, her long white-blonde hair covering her face. Pushing the locks away from her forehead, she turned her ice blue eyes to mine and something in her stare shook me to my very core. To this day, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was about her, but it was something. Her face was heart-shaped, her features petite and mystically beautiful, but she was hurt. Bruises covered her forehead, cheeks and arms. Her plain white dress was filthy from ash and dirt and there were blisters forming from burns on her bare legs. The child craned her head to the sky and I could see little tattoos of stars and musical notes scattered on her neck, directly under her right ear. Her eyes bubbled with tears as she stared at the rising moon. She seemed so lost, so terribly alone. I tried to take her hand, but she clutched a strange instrument to her chest and refused to let it go. They told me later it was a musical instrument, resembling an ancient Greek lyre. To me it just looked like a small harp.

Instead, I patted her hand, surprised at how warm it was and thought she might have a fever.

“It’s okay, miss. We’ll get you out of here. Langston, have one of your men hook up the wagon.” I picked up the girl, contraption and all, and cradled her in my arms. She was but a doll, so slight. As we moved to the main road, she made the slightest of noises in her throat, but I couldn’t tell what she was saying. In fact, no one could.

We brought the girl to the local hospital but no one could identify her. She talked gibberish, crying and sobbing incessantly, humming haunting melodies and playing her instrument. But every few minutes she tried to get to the window to look out, always trying to look outside and stare at the sky. The staff was so concerned she was going to jump, they moved her to the psychiatric ward and that’s the last I ever heard of her.

As for the charred chunks of metal? By the time we got back to the field to remove them for plowing, the strange stuff had burned itself away. Except for some blackened ash, I wondered if it had been there at all.

************************************************************************************

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please feel free to download the entire story. It is FREE on 1/26 and 1/27 on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1fljMvU. If you’re able to do a review when you’re done, it would be so very much appreciated!

If you’d like to check out another story of mine – albeit a bit darker, check out my YA Fantasy series THE WORLD OF KAROV – book #1 is just $0.99. Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1fe4Amj

And, if you’d like something a little more adult, my fantasy thriller THE HUNT FOR XANADU might be right up your alley. You can check it out here: http://amzn.to/1boS1zz

Lastly, I’m participating in my very first Fantasy Blog Hop Event with eight other great authors. Please come on over and join our event February 1st-8th to Fill that Kindle for Valentines Day. We’d love to see you there! Great Fantasy reads all 3.99 and under- (I’m going to be dropping the price of THE HUNT FOR XANADU to $2.99 for the event) Fantastical Reads Event. https://www.facebook.com/events/205889079615386/